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United Airlines Announces Full-Year 2015 Profit

Company Also Announces Record Fourth-Quarter Profit

January 21, 2016

CHICAGO, Jan. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines (UAL) today reported its fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 financial results.

  • UAL reported full-year net income of $4.5 billion, or $11.88 per diluted share, excluding special items. Including special items, UAL reported full-year net income of $7.3 billion. These results include a nonrecurring $3.1 billion non-cash benefit associated with the reversal of the company's income tax valuation allowance.
  • UAL reported fourth-quarter net income of $934 million, or $2.54 per diluted share, excluding special items. Including special items, UAL reported fourth-quarter net income of $823 million.
  • Today, UAL announced it reached an agreement to acquire 40 new Boeing 737-700 aircraft which will enter the fleet beginning in mid-2017, replacing a portion of the capacity currently operated by regional partners.
  • Employees earned a record $698 million in profit sharing for full-year 2015.

"We improved our operational performance, continued to invest in our products and services and achieved record financial performance," said Brett J. Hart, UAL's acting chief executive officer. "We have great momentum as we head into 2016 and are committed to continuously earning the trust of our customers and employees. I'm proud of what we accomplished together, running a reliable airline and making the right investments to deliver shareholder value. We expect first-quarter pre-tax margin to be between 8 and 10 percent, excluding special items."

Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter Revenue and Capacity

For the fourth quarter of 2015, total revenue was $9.0 billion, a decrease of 3.0 percent year-over-year. Fourth-quarter 2015 consolidated PRASM decreased 6.0 percent and consolidated yield decreased 7.2 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. For the full-year 2015, consolidated PRASM declined 4.4 percent versus the prior year. The declines in PRASM and yield were driven largely by a strong U.S. dollar, lower surcharges, travel reductions from customers impacted by declining oil prices and softening domestic and international yields.

Passenger revenue for the fourth quarter and full year of 2015 and period-to-period comparisons of related statistics for UAL's mainline and regional operations are included in the tables in the back of this document.

Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter Costs

Total operating expense excluding special charges was $7.8 billion in the fourth quarter, down 8.1 percent year-over-year. Including special charges, total operating expense was $8.0 billion, an 8.4 percent decrease year-over-year. The decrease was largely driven by lower oil prices. Consolidated unit cost (CASM), excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing, was flat compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. Consolidated CASM including those items decreased 10 percent year-over-year. For the full year, consolidated CASM excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel and profit sharing decreased 0.7 percent year-over-year. This strong cost performance was largely the result of improved efficiency as part of the company's Project Quality and upgauging initiatives and better completion as a result of improved operational performance. Consolidated CASM including those items decreased 11.9 percent compared to full-year 2014.

Liquidity and Capital Allocation

In the fourth quarter, UAL generated $1.1 billion in operating cash flow and $324 million in free cash flow, and ended the quarter with $6.5 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.35 billion of undrawn commitments under its revolving credit facility. During the fourth quarter, the company continued to invest in its business through gross capital expenditures of $791 million, excluding fully reimbursable projects, including approximately $300 million in aircraft-related deposits that shifted to the fourth quarter of 2015 from the first quarter of 2016.

The company spent $520 million toward its $3 billion share repurchase authorization in the fourth quarter. For the year, United repurchased approximately $1.2 billion worth of shares.

UAL earned a 21.0 percent return on invested capital for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2015.

Fleet Updates

Today, UAL announced it would take delivery of 40 new Boeing 737-700 aircraft, which will enter the fleet beginning in mid-2017. These aircraft will replace a portion of the capacity currently operated by the company's regional partners, as the company expects to reduce by more than half the number of 50-seat aircraft in its fleet by 2019.

"Our customers have a preference for an improved travel experience, including first class seats, Economy Plus, and Wi-Fi. These aircraft are an efficient way to meet those needs while reducing 50-seat flying," said Gerry Laderman, UAL's acting chief financial officer.

For more information on UAL's first-quarter 2016 guidance, please visit ir.united.com for the company's investor update.

The company will provide further details on its full-year 2015 financial results on an investor conference call today at 9:30 a.m. CT. Participants in the call will include Oscar Munoz, president and CEO; Brett J. Hart, acting CEO; Gerry Laderman, acting chief financial officer; Jim Compton, vice chairman and chief revenue officer; and Greg Hart, executive vice president and chief operations officer.

About United

United Airlines and United Express operate an average of nearly 5,000 flights a day to 342 airports across six continents. In 2015, United and United Express operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers. United is proud to have the world's most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates more than 700 mainline aircraft, and this year, the airline anticipates taking delivery of 20 new Boeing aircraft, including 737NGs, 787s and 777s. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 192 countries via 28 member airlines. Approximately 84,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Certain statements included in this release are forward-looking and thus reflect our current expectations and beliefs with respect to certain current and future events and financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are and will be subject to many risks and uncertainties relating to our operations and business environment that may cause actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Words such as "expects," "will," "plans," "anticipates," "indicates," "believes," "forecast," "guidance," "outlook," "goals" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Additionally, forward-looking statements include statements that do not relate solely to historical facts, such as statements which identify uncertainties or trends, discuss the possible future effects of current known trends or uncertainties or which indicate that the future effects of known trends or uncertainties cannot be predicted, guaranteed or assured. All forward-looking statements in this report are based upon information available to us on the date of this report. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise, except as required by applicable law. Our actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements due to numerous factors including, without limitation, the following: our ability to comply with the terms of our various financing arrangements; the costs and availability of financing; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity; our ability to execute our operational plans, including optimizing our revenue; our ability to control our costs, including realizing benefits from our resource optimization efforts, cost reduction initiatives and fleet replacement programs; our ability to utilize our net operating losses; our ability to attract and retain customers; demand for transportation in the markets in which we operate; an outbreak of a disease that affects travel demand or travel behavior; demand for travel and the impact that global economic conditions have on customer travel patterns; excessive taxation and the inability to offset future taxable income; general economic conditions (including interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates, investment or credit market conditions, crude oil prices, costs of aircraft fuel and energy refining capacity in relevant markets); our ability to cost-effectively hedge against increases in the price of aircraft fuel; any potential realized or unrealized gains or losses related to fuel or currency hedging programs; the effects of any hostilities, act of war or terrorist attack; the ability of other air carriers with whom we have alliances or partnerships to provide the services contemplated by the respective arrangements with such carriers; the costs and availability of aviation and other insurance; industry consolidation or changes in airline alliances; competitive pressures on pricing and on demand; our capacity decisions and the capacity decisions of our competitors; U.S. or foreign governmental legislation, regulation and other actions (including open skies agreements and environmental regulations); the impact of regulatory, investigative and legal proceedings and legal compliance risks; the impact of any management changes; our CEO's health prognosis and return from medical leave; labor costs; our ability to maintain satisfactory labor relations and the results of the collective bargaining agreement process with our union groups; any disruptions to operations due to any potential actions by our labor groups; weather conditions; and other risks and uncertainties set forth under Item 1A., Risk Factors, of UAL's Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as other risks and uncertainties set forth from time to time in the reports we file with the SEC.

-tables attached-

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED OPERATIONS (UNAUDITED)
THREE MONTHS AND YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2015 AND 2014
(In millions, except per share data)

(In millions, except per share data) Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2014
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Year Ended
December 31, 2015
Year Ended
December 31, 2014
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Operating revenue:
Passenger: (A)
Mainline
$6,180 $6,375 (3.1) $26,333 $26,785 (1.7)
Operating revenue: Passenger: (A) Regional 1,549 1,708 (9.3) 6,452 6,977 (7.5)
Operating revenue: Passenger: (A) Total passenger revenue 7,729 8,083 (4.4) 32,785 33,762 (2.9)
Operating revenue: Cargo 231 260 (11.2) 937 938 (0.1)
Operating revenue: Other operating revenue 1,076 970 10.9 4,142 4,201 (1.4)
Operating revenue:Other operating revenue: Total operating revenue 9,036 9,313 (3.0) 37,864 38,901 (2.7)
Operating expense:
Salaries and related costs
2,424 2,251 7.7 9,713 8,935 8.7
Operating expense: Aircraft fuel(B) 1,618 2,530 (36.0) 7,522 11,675 (35.6)
Operating expense: Regional capacity purchase 565 597 (5.4) 2,290 2,344 (2.3)
Operating expense: Landing fees and other rent 556 568 (2.1) 2,203 2,274 (3.1)
Operating expense: Depreciation and amortization 476 431 10.4 1,819 1,679 8.3
Operating expense: Aircraft maintenance materials and outside repairs 399 415 (3.9) 1,651 1,779 (7.2)
Operating expense: Distribution expenses 316 334 (5.4) 1,342 1,373 (2.3)
Operating expense: Aircraft rent 174 215 (19.1) 754 883 (14.6)
Operating expense: Special charges (C) 131 179 NM1 326 443 NM1
Operating expense: Other operating expenses 1,296 1,168 11.0 5,078 5,143 (1.3)
Operating expense: Other Operating Expenses: Total operating expenses 7,955 8,688 (8.4) 32,698 36,528 (10.5)
Operating income: Operating income 1,081 625 73.0 5,166 2,373 117.7
Nonoperating income (expense):
Interest expense
(165) (176) (6.3) (669) (735) (9.0)
Nonoperating income (expense): Interest capitalized 11 12 (8.3) 49 52 (5.8)
Nonoperating income (expense): Interest income 9 5 80.0 25 22 13.6
Nonoperating income (expense): Miscellaneous, net (C) (31) (443) (93.0) (352) (584) (39.7)
Nonoperating income (expense): Miscellaneous, net (C): Total nonoperating expense (176) (602) (70.8) (947) (1,245) (23.9)
Income before income taxes: Income before income taxes 905 23 NM 4,219 1,128 274.0
Income tax expense: Income tax expense (benefit) (D) 82 (5) NM1 (3,121) (4) NM1
Net income: Net income $823 $28 NM $7,340 $1,132 NM
Earnings per share: Earnings per share, basic $2.24 $0.08 NM $19.52 $3.05 NM
Earnings per share: Earnings per share, diluted $2.24 $0.07 NM $19.47 $2.93 NM
Weighted average shares: Weighted average shares, basic 367 372 (1.3) 376 371 1.3
Weighted average shares: Weighted average shares, diluted 367 376 (2.4) 377 390 (3.3)
  1. NM means Not Meaningful

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
NOTES (UNAUDITED)

(A) Select passenger revenue information is as follows (in millions):
4Q 2015
Passenger
Revenue
(millions)
Passenger
Revenue
vs.
4Q 2014
PRASM
vs.
4Q 2014
Yield
vs.
4Q 2014
Available
Seat Miles
vs.
4Q 2014
Domestic $3,249 0.9% (3.2%) (5.6%) 4.3%
Atlantic 1,314 (3.2%) (2.7%) (1.5%) (0.5%)
Pacific 1,012 (8.6%) (8.6%) (9.2%) 0.0%
Latin America 605 (12.6%) (20.9%) (20.8%) 10.5%
International 2,931 (7.1%) (8.9%) (8.7%) 1.9%
Mainline 6,180 (3.1%) (6.0%) (7.1%) 3.1%
Regional 1,549 (9.3%) (3.0%) (4.2%) (6.6%)
Consolidated $7,729 (4.4%) (6.0%) (7.2%) 1.8%

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
NOTES (UNAUDITED)

(B) UAL's results of operations include fuel expense for both mainline and regional operations. (In millions, except per share data)
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2014
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Year Ended
December 31, 2015
Year Ended
December 31, 2014
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Mainline fuel expense excluding hedge impacts $1,184 $1,982 (40.3) $5,711 $9,408 (39.3)
Hedge losses reported in fuel expense 2 (175) (85) NM1 (604) (89) NM1
Total mainline fuel expense 1,359 2,067 (34.3) 6,315 9,497 (33.5)
Regional fuel expense 259 463 (44.1) 1,207 2,178 (44.6)
Consolidated fuel expense 1,618 2,530 (36.0) 7,522 11,675 (35.6)
Cash paid on settled hedges that did not qualify for hedge accounting 3 (115) (151) NM1 (329) (138) NM1
Fuel expense including all losses from settled hedges $1,733 $2,681 (35.4) $7,851 $11,813 (33.5)
Mainline fuel consumption (gallons) 784 769 2.0 3,216 3,183 1.0
Mainline average aircraft fuel price per gallon excluding hedge losses recorded in fuel expense $1.51 $2.58 (41.5) $1.78 $2.96 (39.9)
Mainline average aircraft fuel price per gallon $1.73 $2.69 (35.7) $1.96 $2.98 (34.2)
Mainline average aircraft fuel price per gallon including cash paid on settled hedges that did not qualify for hedge accounting $1.88 $2.88 (34.7) $2.07 $3.03 (31.7)
Regional fuel consumption (gallons) 167 179 (6.7) 670 722 (7.2)
Regional average aircraft fuel price per gallon $1.55 $2.59 (40.2) $1.80 $3.02 (40.4)
Consolidated fuel consumption (gallons) 951 948 0.3 3,886 3,905 (0.5)
Consolidated average aircraft fuel price per gallon excluding hedge losses recorded in fuel expense $1.52 $2.58 (41.1) $1.78 $2.97 (40.1)
Consolidated average aircraft fuel price per gallon $1.70 $2.67 (36.3) $1.94 $2.99 (35.1)
Consolidated average aircraft fuel price per gallon including cash paid on settled hedges that did not qualify for hedge accounting $1.82 $2.83 (35.7) $2.02 $3.03 (33.3)
  1. Includes losses from settled hedges that were designated for hedge accounting. UAL allocates 100 percent of hedge accounting gains (losses) to mainline fuel expense.
  2. Includes ineffectiveness losses on settled hedges and losses on settled hedges that were not designated for hedge accounting. Ineffectiveness gains (losses) and gains (losses) on hedges that do not qualify for hedge accounting are recorded in Nonoperating income (expense): Miscellaneous, net.
UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
NOTES (UNAUDITED)

(C) Special items include the following:
(In millions) Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015 (In millions)
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2014 (In millions)
Year Ended
December 31, 2015 (In millions)
Year Ended
December 31, 2014 (In millions)
Operating:
Impairment of assets
$48 $16 $79 $49
Operating:Integration-related costs 13 17 60 96
Operating:Severance and benefit costs 4 141 107 199
Operating:(Gains) losses on sale of assets and other miscellaneous (gains) losses, net 66 5 80 99
Operating: (Gains) losses on sale of assets and other special charges:Special charges 131 179 326 443
Nonoperating and income taxes:
Losses on extinguishment of debt and other, net
7 53 202 74
Nonoperating and income taxes:Income tax benefit related to special charges (11) (6) (11) (10)
Nonoperating and income taxes:Income tax expense (benefit) associated with valuation allowance release (D) 88 (3,130)
Nonoperating and income taxes: Income tax expense (benefit) associated with valuation allowance release (D): Total operating and nonoperating special charges, net of income taxes 215 226 (2,613) 507
Nonoperating and income taxes:Mark-to-market (MTM) losses from fuel derivative contracts settling in future periods 1 225 (8) 244
Nonoperating and income taxes:Prior period gains (losses) on fuel derivative contracts settled in the current period (105) (18) (241) 83
Nonoperating and income taxes: Prior period gains (losses) on fuel derivative contracts settled in the current period:Total special items, net of income taxes $111 $433 $(2,862) $834

 

   
 

2014 - Special items




Impairment of assets: During 2014, the company recorded a charge of $16 million ($10 million net of related income tax benefits) related to its annual assessment of impairment of its indefinite-lived intangible assets (certain international Pacific routes). In addition, the company also recorded $33 million for charges related primarily to impairment of its flight equipment held for disposal associated with its Boeing 737-300 and 737-500 fleets.




Integration-related costs: Integration-related costs included compensation costs related to systems integration, training, severance and relocation for employees.




Severance and benefit costs: During the fourth quarter of 2014, the company recorded $141 million of severance and benefit costs related primarily to a voluntary early-out program for its flight attendants. More than 2,500 participants elected a one-time opportunity to voluntarily separate from the company and will receive a severance payment, with a maximum value of $100,000 per participant, based on years of service, with retirement dates through the end of 2016. In addition, the company recorded $58 million of severance and benefits primarily related to reductions of management and front-line employees, including from Hopkins International Airport (Cleveland), as part of its cost savings initiatives. The company is currently evaluating its options regarding its long-term contractual lease commitments at Cleveland. The capacity reductions at Cleveland may result in further special charges, which could be significant, related to our contractual commitments.




(Gains) losses on sale of assets and other miscellaneous (gains) losses, net: During 2014, the company recorded $66 million for the permanent grounding of 21 of the company's Embraer ERJ 135 regional aircraft under lease through 2018, which included an accrual for remaining lease payments and an amount for maintenance return conditions. The company decided to permanently ground these 21 Embraer ERJ 135 aircraft as a result of new Embraer E175 regional jet deliveries, the impact of pilot shortages at regional carriers and fuel prices. In addition, the company also recorded $33 million for losses on the sale of assets and other special charges.




Loss on extinguishment of debt and other, net: On October 10, 2014, United used cash to retire, at par, the entire $248 million principal balance of the 6% Convertible Junior Subordinated Debentures and the 6% Convertible Preferred Securities, Term Income Deferrable Equity Securities (TIDES). The $53 million expense is primarily associated with the write-off of non-cash debt discounts recorded on the TIDES due to purchase accounting during the company's merger transaction in 2010.




MTM losses from fuel derivative contracts settling in future periods and prior period gains (losses) on fuel derivative contracts settled in the current period: The company utilizes certain derivative instruments that are economic hedges but do not qualify for hedge accounting under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. The company records changes in the fair value of these economic hedges to Nonoperating income (expense): Miscellaneous, net in the statements of consolidated operations. During the three months and year ended December 31, 2014, the company recorded $225 million and $244 million, respectively, in MTM losses on economic hedges that will settle in future periods. For economic hedges that settled in the three months and year ended December 31, 2014, the company recorded MTM gains (losses) of ($18) million and $83 million, respectively, in prior periods. The figures above also include an insignificant amount of ineffectiveness on hedges that are designated for hedge accounting.




(D)  

The company's income tax benefit was $3.1 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015. During 2015, after considering all positive and negative evidence and the four sources of taxable income, the Company concluded that its deferred income tax assets are more likely than not to be realized. In evaluating the likelihood of utilizing the Company's net federal and state deferred tax assets, the significant relevant factors that the Company considered are: (1) its recent history and forecasted profitability; (2) growth in the U.S. and global economies; and (3) future impact of taxable temporary differences. Therefore, the Company released almost all of its valuation allowance in 2015, resulting in a $3.1 billion benefit in its provision for income taxes.

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
STATISTICS
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2014
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Year Ended
December 31, 2015
Year Ended
December 31, 2014
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Mainline:
Passengers (thousands)
24,169 22,087 9.4 96,327 91,475 5.3
Mainline:Revenue passenger miles (millions) 44,470 42,609 4.4 183,642 179,015 2.6
Mainline:Available seat miles (millions) 53,814 52,197 3.1 219,989 214,105 2.7
Mainline:Cargo ton miles (millions) 679 674 0.7 2,614 2,487 5.1
Mainline:Passenger load factor:
Mainline
82.6% 81.6% 1.0 pts. 83.5% 83.6% (0.1) pts.
Mainline:Domestic 86.1% 84.1% 2.0 pts. 86.3% 86.0% 0.3 pts.
Mainline:International 79.1% 79.2% (0.1) pts. 80.8% 81.3% (0.5) pts.
Mainline:Passenger revenue per available seat mile (cents) 11.48 12.21 (6.0) 11.97 12.51 (4.3)
Mainline:Average yield per revenue passenger mile (cents) 13.90 14.96 (7.1) 14.34 14.96 (4.1)
Mainline:Average aircraft fuel price per gallon excluding hedge losses recorded in fuel expense 4 $1.51 $2.58 (41.5) $1.78 $2.96 (39.9)
Mainline:Average aircraft fuel price per gallon 4 $1.73 $2.69 (35.7) $1.96 $2.98 (34.2)
Mainline:Average aircraft fuel price per gallon including cash paid on settled hedges that did not qualify for hedge accounting 3 $1.88 $2.88 (34.7) $2.07 $3.03 (31.7)
Mainline:Fuel gallons consumed (millions) 784 769 2.0 3,216 3,183 1.0
Mainline:Aircraft in fleet at end of period 715 691 3.5 715 691 3.5
Mainline:Average stage length (miles) 1,869 1,936 (3.5) 1,922 1,958 (1.8)
Mainline:Average daily utilization of each aircraft (hours) 9:59 10:11 (2.0) 10:24 10:26 (0.3)
Regional:
Passengers (thousands)
10,983 11,470 (4.2) 44,042 46,554 (5.4)
Regional:Revenue passenger miles (millions) 6,248 6,602 (5.4) 24,969 26,544 (5.9)
Regional:Available seat miles (millions) 7,490 8,016 (6.6) 30,014 31,916 (6.0)
Regional:Passenger load factor 83.4% 82.4% 1.0 pts. 83.2% 83.2% — pts.
Regional:Passenger revenue per available seat mile (cents) 20.68 21.31 (3.0) 21.50 21.86 (1.6)
Regional:Average yield per revenue passenger mile (cents) 24.79 25.87 (4.2) 25.84 26.28 (1.7)
Regional:Aircraft in fleet at end of period 524 566 (7.4) 524 566 (7.4)
Regional:Average stage length (miles) 562 570 (1.4) 559 561 (0.4)
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):
Passengers (thousands)
35,152 33,557 4.8 140,369 138,029 1.7
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Revenue passenger miles (millions) 50,718 49,211 3.1 208,611 205,559 1.5
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Available seat miles (millions) 61,304 60,213 1.8 250,003 246,021 1.6
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Passenger load factor 82.7% 81.7% 1.0 pts. 83.4% 83.6% (0.2) pts.
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Passenger revenue per available seat mile (cents) 12.61 13.42 (6.0) 13.11 13.72 (4.4)
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Total revenue per available seat mile (cents) 14.74 15.47 (4.7) 15.15 15.81 (4.2)
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Average yield per revenue passenger mile (cents) 15.24 16.43 (7.2) 15.72 16.42 (4.3)
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Average aircraft fuel price per gallon excluding hedge losses recorded in fuel expense 4 $1.52 $2.58 (41.1) $1.78 $2.97 (40.1)
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Average aircraft fuel price per gallon 4 $1.70 $2.67 (36.3) $1.94 $2.99 (35.1)
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Average aircraft fuel price per gallon including cash paid on settled hedges that did not qualify for hedge accounting 4 $1.82 $2.83 (35.7) $2.02 $3.03 (33.3)
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Fuel gallons consumed (millions) 951 948 0.3 3,886 3,905 (0.5)
Consolidated (Mainline and Regional):Average full-time equivalent employees (thousands) 82.1 80.5 2.0 82.1 82.0 0.1
  1. Fuel price per gallon includes aircraft fuel and related taxes.

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RECONCILIATION

UAL evaluates its financial performance utilizing various accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP) and Non-GAAP financial measures, including income (loss) before income taxes excluding special items, net income (loss) excluding special items, net earnings (loss) per share excluding special items, and CASM, among others. CASM is a common metric used in the airline industry to measure an airline's cost structure and efficiency. Pursuant to SEC Regulation G, UAL has included the following reconciliation of reported Non-GAAP financial measures to comparable financial measures reported on a GAAP basis. UAL believes that adjusting for special items is useful to investors because special charges are non-recurring charges not indicative of UAL's ongoing performance. In addition, the company believes that adjusting for MTM gains and losses from fuel derivative contracts settling in future periods and prior period gains and losses on fuel derivative contracts settled in the current period is useful because the adjustments allow investors to better understand the cash impact of settled fuel derivative contracts in a given period. UAL also believes that excluding third-party business expenses, such as maintenance, ground handling and catering services for third parties, fuel sales and non-air mileage redemptions, provides more meaningful disclosure because these expenses are not directly related to UAL's core business. UAL also believes that excluding fuel costs from certain measures is useful to investors because it provides an additional measure of management's performance excluding the effects of a significant cost item over which management has limited influence. UAL excludes profit sharing because this exclusion allows investors to better understand and analyze our recurring cost performance and provides a more meaningful comparison of our core operating costs to the airline industry. UAL also believes that adjusting capital expenditures for fully reimbursable projects is useful to investors in order to appropriately reflect the non-reimbursable funds spent on capital expenditures.

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RECONCILIATION (Continued)
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015 (In millions)
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2014 (In millions)
$
Increase/
(Decrease)
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Year Ended
December 31, 2015 (In millions)
Year Ended
December 31, 2014 (In millions)
$
Increase/
(Decrease)
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Operating expenses $7,955 $8,688 $(733) (8.4) $32,698 $36,528 $(3,830) (10.5)
Operating expensesLess: Special charges (C) 131 179 (48) NM1 326 443 (117) NM1
Operating expenses, excluding special charges 7,824 8,509 (685) (8.1) 32,372 36,085 (3,713) (10.3)
Operating expenses, excluding special charges:Less: Third-party business expenses 86 65 21 32.3 291 534 (243) (45.5)
Operating expenses, excluding special charges:Less: Fuel expense 1,618 2,530 (912) (36.0) 7,522 11,675 (4,153) (35.6)
Operating expenses, excluding special charges:Less: Profit sharing, including taxes 153 53 100 188.7 698 235 463 197.0
Operating expenses, excluding fuel, profit sharing, special charges and third-party business expenses $5,967 $5,861 $106 1.8 $23,861 $23,641 $220 0.9
Income before income taxes $905 $23 $882 NM $4,219 $1,128 $3,091 274.0
Income before income taxes:Less: Special items before income tax benefit 34 439 (405) NM1 279 844 (565) NM1
Income before income taxes and excluding special items $939 $462 $477 103.2 $4,498 $1,972 $2,526 128.1
Net income $823 $28 $795 NM $7,340 $1,132 $6,208 NM
Net income:Less: special items, net of tax (C) 111 433 (322) NM1 (2,862) 834 (3,696) NM1
Net income, excluding special items $934 $461 $473 102.6 $4,478 $1,966 $2,512 127.8
Diluted earnings per share $2.24 $0.07 $2.17 NM $19.47 $2.93 $16.54 NM
Diluted earnings per share:Add back: special items 0.30 1.12 (0.82) NM1 (7.59) 2.12 (9.71) NM1
Diluted earnings per share:Add back: Impact of dilution, net 0.01 (0.01) NM1 0.01 (0.01) NM1
Diluted earnings per share, excluding special items $2.54 $1.20 $1.34 111.7 $11.88 $5.06 $6.82 134.8

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
NON-GAAP FINANCIAL RECONCILIATION (Continued)
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015 in cents
Three Months Ended
December 31, 2014 in cents
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
Year Ended
December 31, 2015 in cents
Year Ended
December 31, 2014 in cents
%
Increase/
(Decrease)
CASM Mainline Operations (cents)
Cost per available seat mile (CASM)
12.37 13.68 (9.6) 12.42 14.03 (11.5)
CASM Mainline Operations (cents): Cost per available seat mile (CASM):Less: Special charges (C) 0.24 0.34 NM1 0.15 0.21 NM1
CASM Mainline Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges 12.13 13.34 (9.1) 12.27 13.82 (11.2)
CASM Mainline Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special chargesLess: Third-party business expenses 0.16 0.12 33.3 0.13 0.25 (48.0)
CASM Mainline Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges and third-party business expenses 11.97 13.22 (9.5) 12.14 13.57 (10.5)
CASM Mainline Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges and third-party business expensesLess: Fuel expense 2.53 3.96 (36.1) 2.87 4.44 (35.4)
CASM Mainline Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses and fuel 9.44 9.26 1.9 9.27 9.13 1.5
CASM Mainline Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses and fuelLess: Profit sharing per available seat mile 0.28 0.10 180.0 0.32 0.11 190.9
CASM Mainline Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel, and profit sharing 9.16 9.16 8.95 9.02 (0.8)
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents)
Cost per available seat mile (CASM)
12.98 14.43 (10.0) 13.08 14.85 (11.9)
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents): Cost per available seat mile (CASM)Less: Special charges (C) 0.22 0.30 NM1 0.13 0.18 NM1
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges 12.76 14.13 (9.7) 12.95 14.67 (11.7)
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special chargesLess: Third-party business expenses 0.14 0.11 27.3 0.12 0.22 (45.5)
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges and third-party business expenses 12.62 14.02 (10.0) 12.83 14.45 (11.2)
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges and third-party business expensesLess: Fuel expense 2.64 4.20 (37.1) 3.01 4.75 (36.6)
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses and fuel 9.98 9.82 1.6 9.82 9.70 1.2
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses and fuelLess: Profit sharing per available seat mile 0.25 0.09 177.8 0.28 0.09 211.1
CASM Consolidated Operations (cents): CASM, excluding special charges, third-party business expenses, fuel, and profit sharing 9.73 9.73 9.54 9.61 (0.7)

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
CAPITAL EXPENDITURES AND FREE CASH FLOW
Capital Expenditures (in millions) Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015
Year Ended
December 31, 2015
Capital ExpendituresCapital expenditures – GAAP $763 $2,747
Capital Expenditures: Capital expenditures – GAAP:Property and equipment acquired through the issuance of debt 69 866
Capital Expenditures: Capital expenditures – GAAP:Airport construction financing 12 17
Capital Expenditures: Capital expenditures – GAAP:Fully reimbursable projects (53) (124)
Capital Expenditures:Adjusted capital expenditures – Non-GAAP $791 $3,506
Free Cash Flow (in millions) Three Months Ended
December 31, 2015
Year Ended
December 31, 2015
Free Cash Flow:Net cash provided by operating activities $1,115 $5,992
Free Cash Flow: Net cash provided by operating activities:Less adjusted capital expenditures – Non-GAAP 791 3,506
Free Cash Flow:Free cash flow - Non-GAAP $324 $2,486

 

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS, INC.
RETURN ON INVESTED CAPITAL (ROIC)

ROIC is a Non-GAAP financial measure that we believe provides useful supplemental information for management and investors by measuring the effectiveness of our operations' use of invested capital to generate profits.
Twelve Months Ended
December 31, 2015
Return On Invested CapitalNet Operating Profit After Tax (NOPAT)
Pre-tax income excluding special items 5
$4,498
Return On Invested CapitalNOPAT adjustments 6 1,100
Return On Invested CapitalNOPAT $5,598
Return On Invested CapitalEffective cash tax rate 7 0.4%
Return On Invested CapitalInvested Capital (five-quarter average)
Total assets
$39,210
Return On Invested CapitalInvested capital adjustments 8 12,507
Return On Invested CapitalAverage Invested Capital $26,703
Return On Invested CapitalReturn on Invested Capital 21.0%
  1. Non-GAAP Financial Reconciliation
  2. NOPAT adjustments include: adding back (net of tax shield) interest expense, the interest component of capitalized aircraft rent and net interest on pension.
  3. Effective cash tax rate is calculated by dividing cash taxes paid by adjusted pre-tax income.
  4. Invested capital adjustments include: adding back capital aircraft rent (at 7.0X) and deferred income taxes, less advance ticket sales, frequent flyer deferred revenue, tax valuation allowance and other non-interest bearing liabilities.
Notes: Twelve Months Ended
December 31, 2015
Pre-tax income $4,219
Return On Invested CapitalAdd: Special items 279
Return On Invested CapitalPre-tax income excluding special items $4,498

 

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SOURCE United Airlines

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